In any business, effective leadership is critical for a firm’s success. As the financial advisory market evolves, leaders in the advisor space need to be visionary and adaptable. The prevalence of small businesses in the industry, however, requires a different approach to the traditional leadership model.
Although there are exceptions to the rule, as some firms have sophisticated business models, many small ones lack structure.
With the shifting market, strong leadership is critical for navigating the changes within the industry. No matter what size the business may be, an effective leader can guide the firm toward success, profitability and higher employee morale.
Click through the following slides for 10 Characteristics for Effective Leadership in the industry.
1. Leadership requires effort. Being in a leadership role does not necessarily make someone a leader. Leadership is earned. Where management may control and direct people, leadership requires motivation and coaching. Leaders must have a clear understanding of the goals for the future of the firm, but also know how the agency can achieve them. They also must develop plans and budgets that follow a relatable sales process, creating a roadmap for their firm for guidance. At the same time, however, the leadership role is not autonomous. Good leaders need to seek the skills, knowledge, effort and resources needed to accomplish the agency’s goals.
2. Leadership requires followers. Leadership cannot be an assumed role; rather, it is earned through proper selection of key positions in the firm. The traits that make an employee successful in one role may not be the same that would lead them to thrive in another. Strong leaders need to know how to choose the best personnel for their agency, orchestrating the mission and the process. If there is a level of mutual respect between employees and the leadership, they will trust the leader’s decisions. The opposite, however, is also true.
3. Leadership is being a maestro. Understanding how employees’ unique traits contribute to the work environment and job description are important for leaders to coach and motivate their employees. Employees need to fit within the framework of cooperation between leadership and team members. As a maestro, the leader needs to learn and understand individual employees’ unique skills and work habits to encourage productivity, effectively manage conflicts and foster growth and improvement among employees.
4. Leadership demands accountability. Leaders must create benchmarks for employee performance, instilling employees with satisfaction and company loyalty. At the same time, setting annual goals and objectives help employees constantly provide feedback, which creates an environment of accountability for all employees and develops a strong, collaborative environment.